THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAULK
A Critique of "Kingdom Theology"
by Robert M. Bowman, Jr., with Craig S. Hawkins and Dan R. Schlesinger
Not only does the secular media have its guns trained on the Church, but
the religious media likes to take its little potshots as will. Recently, a
religious publication called Chapel Hill for an interview with Bishop Paulk.
They were told that his busy schedule wouldn't allow it that day. The
response went something like this:
"Well, cults always deny interviews. You have denied an interview with us
so that obviously makes you a cult." Great deductive reasoning! It makes
about as much sense as this premise [i.e., argument]: Eggs break. Bones
break. Therefore, eggs are obviously bones. 
The above statement by Don Paulk in the March 1988 The Kingdom Come was
published less than a month after the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL contacted
Chapel Hill Harvester Church and asked to interview Earl Paulk. The church
staff would neither confirm nor deny that this statement was about us. The
fact is that, as I reported in Part One of this article, we had talked with
staff members on at least four occasions and they had relayed to us that Earl
Paulk was not willing to talk with us at any time. The account (if about us)
also distorts our response to Paulk's refusal to talk to us. What I told
Tricia Weeks (Paulk's Public Relations Officer) was that we had serious
questions about Paulk's orthodoxy which neither his publications nor her
attempts to defend him on the phone had been able to answer (as she herself
In Part One of this critique of Kingdom Theology (KT) as represented in
the writings of Earl Paulk, I discussed faulty criticisms of KT as well as
invalid attempts by Paulk to shield KT from criticism, and traced its
historical and theological roots. In this second and concluding article on
KT, I shall systematically examine the theology of Earl Paulk,  critiquing
it on the basis of Scripture.
REVELATION: ONGOING OR COMPLETE?
On many of Paulk's teachings, statements can be found in his writings
supporting contradictory positions. In practically every instance Paulk's
seemingly orthodox statements will be found in those writings in which Paulk
was trying to defend his teaching from the charge of heresy. This apparently
aberrant or heretical statements are mostly found in his nonapologetic
writings (although his apologetic writings contain questionable teachings as
Such a tension is evident in Paulk's teaching on the sufficiency of the
Bible as the only source of doctrinal revelations for the church. On the one
hand, Paulk has often made statements which clearly indicate that new
doctrinal revelations are being issued through modern apostles and prophets.
Many Christians incorrectly believe everything God would have us know has
already been written. The book of John says that many things are yet to
be spoken that are not written in the Bible. 
Fresh revelation is necessary to guide us into all truth. Had "all truth"
been given to us already, Jesus would never have said that the Holy Spirit
would serve as "a guide" to us. 
On the other hand, he has attempted to defend his view of prophecy with
statements such as the following:
Kingdom Theology is not a new theology, interpretation of Scripture nor
new revelation. It is as old as the Scripture. 
Because I believe the Bible is a closed canon, I acknowledge the
limitations upon spoken prophecy that such a statement implies. 
It is not easy to put these statements together into a logically coherent
whole. A perusal of Paulk's several books will show that overall he seeks to
find some basis in the Bible for everything he teaches, while at the same time
claiming that truths not recorded in the Bible are being revealed today.
Thus, Paulk appears to hold to a theology of ongoing doctrinal revelations,
while recognizing the need to relate his teachings to the Bible if they are to
be made acceptable to Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians.
That Paulk's doctrine of ongoing revelation implies an unquestionable
doctrinal authority outside the Bible may be seen from an analysis of his
teaching regarding the "fivefold ministry."
THE PENTECOSTAL PAPACY
As we saw in Part One, one of the "truths" supposedly restored in the
Latter-Rain movement was the doctrine of the "fivefold ministry." According
to this doctrine, the five offices listed in Ephesians 4:11 - apostles,
prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers - are all needed in a fully
functioning and maturing church, and therefore the church today should begin
to recognize certain "anointed" individuals as having been called to occupy
these offices, including apostles and prophets. As I have shown elsewhere,
 this doctrine rests on a mistaken interpretation of Ephesians 4:11-13 and
misconstrues the New Testament teaching concerning apostles and prophets,
church offices which passed away in the first century.
There are, it should be noted, different ideas among those who hold to
this fivefold ministry as to what apostles and prophets are supposed to do.
These different views range from regarding apostles and prophets as church-
planters and Spirit-filled preachers to regarding them as spokesmen for God
whose authority and teaching cannot be questioned. It is the latter view
which is harmful to sound Christian faith, and it is, unfortunately, the view
espoused by Earl Paulk. Thus, Paulk writes, "The calling of the apostle is to
establish order in the Church."  Paulk compares the apostles and prophets
to generals in God's army: "God's people are going to begin to know who their
generals are and they will recognize whom to follow.... God will develop His
anointed structure in His army." 
Paulk has even more to say about the authority of prophets than apostles,
perhaps because he is recognized by his followers and other leaders in the
movement as a prophet. Repeatedly he argues that while the prophecies spoken
by congregational members are to be judged by the church's elders, the
pronouncements of those holding the office of "prophet" in the fivefold
ministry are not be judged by anyone except God. Paulk claims that false
prophets in the church will be dealt with by God alone, who will "kill" them
either by causing their death or by causing their ministries to "die." This
is Paulk's "interpretation" of Deuteronomy 13:5, where the people of Israel
are commanded to put false prophets to death. 
It is evident from this "prooftext" for the immunity of a prophet that
Paulk feels free to depart blatantly from the plain meaning of Scripture
whenever it suits his purpose. Deuteronomy 13:5 simply cannot be fairly read
to mean anything other than that a false prophet was to be executed under the
Mosaic law code (for the church in a pluralistic society, the corresponding
action would be excommunication). Thus, the text actually says the exact
opposite of what Paulk says it means (that no one should judge or take action
against a false prophet except God).
If any Christian should be inclined to call into question the accuracy of
Paulk's interpretation of Scripture, they would find a rebuke from him:
Another cloak of spirituality is when pastors say that every Christian
needs to take his Bible and judge the truth for himself. this is not the
instruction of God's Word. God gives the five-fold ministry for the
"equipping of the saints" and the "edifying of the body" (Ephesians 4:12).
Man has no right to private interpretation of the Word of God apart from
those whom God sets in the Church as spiritual teachers and elders. 
Paulk's apostles and prophets are thus a sort of Pentecostal Papacy,
claiming the same kind of unquestioned authority as the Roman Catholic
hierarchy. Such authoritarianism in the church is never healthy, as is
evident from the doctrinal and practical errors of the Roman Catholic church,
though at least in the case of Rome centuries of church history and tradition
provide a modest check to any tendency to innovation. The Kingdom Theology
apostles and prophets, however, have no such traditions to respect, and
therefore can and do announce new revelation as often as they like.
Finally, it should be realized that for Paulk the issue of the fivefold
ministry is extremely important. In practically every book he has written in
the past six years, a warning is included that spiritual danger, possibly even
hell, awaits those who reject the fivefold ministry. 
What exactly does Paulk teach on the basis of these unbiblical views of
revelation and authority? The rest of this study will be taken up with
answering that question.
A SELF-LIMITED GOD
Bishop Paulk clearly affirms his belief in the traditional Christian view
of an omnipotent, omniscient, absolutely sovereign God.  He would no
doubt take offense at the suggestion that his view of the nature of God is
deficient. Unfortunately, there is reason to think that Paulk's teaching on
God is not consistently orthodox.
Orthodox Christian theology holds that God is carrying out a single plan
for His creation, a plan which is based in His eternal purpose and which
cannot be thwarted.  Earl Paulk, on the other hand, consistently
throughout his writings teaches that God is now carrying out a second plan,
the first having been defeated by Adam's rebellion in the Garden of Eden.
God said, "Okay, I'm going to whip you at your own game, Satan, I'm going
to give authority to the seed. Adam, number one, missed the mark. Now
I'm going to try it again." ...We are now living out God's second plan to
redeem "that which was lost." ...God's "Plan B" is the strategy by which
the seed will overcome Satan's rule. 
How can Paulk reconcile talk of God "trying again" and going to "Plan B"
with his professed belief in God's omnipotence and omniscience? Evidently by
arguing that although God is by nature omnipotent and omniscient, He
voluntarily has limited Himself by establishing certain immutable laws in the
world, by making statements to which He is then bound, and by giving his human
creatures a measure of sovereignty in their own right.
The very source of all power, omnipotent God, decrees, "A I give you
power, I limit My own power." God automatically limits His power whenever
He creates one to whom He gives autonomy. By God's giving us power in
certain areas of life, He limits Himself in those areas. For that reason,
we determine our own destiny in many ways. 
If the decision had been God's alone, surely His own Son would have known
the time of His return...Of course, in His omniscience God knows, but He
does not know in experience. God must wait in responsiveness to His plan.
Paulk's view of God as represented by these statements, from the
standpoint of historic Christian Theology, is at best erroneous and aberrant,
at worst herectical. A God who loses power by creating beings with
"autonomy,"who knows things "in His omniscience" but not "in experience"
(whatever that means), and who must improvise a "Plan B" when Plan A is
defeated, is not an infinite God.
It is true that God created man with the ability to choose contrary to His
revealed will and that Adam's fall made us incapable of fulfilling the purpose
for which God created us. However, in context Paulk's statements go well
beyond these affirmations and say that God actually has created demigods whose
sovereignty limits God's and whose rebellion frustrates God's sovereign
purpose for the universe. This will become clearer as more aspects of Paulk's
theology are explained.
If any reader is uncertain as to the biblical teaching concerning God's
absolute sovereignty, he would do well to make a careful study of the nature
of God, as our view of God will determine the rest of our beliefs for good or
for ill. 
STAR WARS: THE MYTHOLOGY OF DOMINION
To use the word "mythology" to describe the teaching of a professing
Christian minister may sound overly harsh, but there is biblical precedent for
it (2 Tim.4:3-4). In the case of Earl Paulk, the charge that his theology is
essentially myth is based, not on a caricature of a few isolated statements,
but on the repeated major themes of all of his books relating to the history
of the universe and man's place in it. 
According to Bishop Paulk and Kingdom Theology, in the very beginning God
created the universe and populated it with spirits (or angels) who lived in
perfect obedience to Him. However, a third of these angels, led by Lucifer,
rebelled against God's authority, becoming the demons, and seized dominion
over part (probably one-third, cf.Rev. 8:12, "a third of the stars") of the
physical universe. This angelic rebellion occurred in a "gap" between Genesis
1:1 and 1:2. The result was that the earth, which was the "capital city" or
headquarters of this demonic Evil Empire, was brought into chaos and make
formless and void (Gen.1:2)
In order to win back unchallenged dominion over the universe, God
introduced into the earth Man, a race of creatures which God intended to
become a resistance movement that would conquer the Devil's home planet and
thus lead the way in taking back dominion over the entire universe. Man was
to be a race of "little gods" exercising divine sovereignty in their area of
influence, thus overwhelming the devil's forces. Unfortunately, the father of
this race, Adam, was tricked by the devil into forfeiting Man's place in this
plan and actually brought God's first plan to nought.
God was then forced to come up with a "Plan B"  to take dominion over
the earth. His solution: to introduce into this fallen race a man in whom the
divine nature dwelled fully, who would become the prototype of a new race of
human beings in which the original godhood of Adam was restored. This divine
Man was Jesus Christ, a perfect manifestation of God the Father, and the
"firstfruit" of the "incarnation" of God. The race of "little gods" who are
spiritually united with Christ as members of His "body" is the church,
constituting collectively with Him the complete incarnation, a corporate
manifestation of God in the flesh which together will overcome the devil and
restore God's dominion unchallenged on the earth. Ultimate victory over the
devil, then, depends finally upon the church accepting its calling to be
little gods. It further depends on the church's submitting to the fivefold
ministry through whom God is seeking to mobilize the church into a unified
army prepared to take dominion back from the devil.
As wild as this story may sound to some readers, this account of
"salvation history" according to Paulk is taken very seriously as the
theological basis of the "Kingdom message." If, then, this scenario can be
shown to be unbiblical, the Kingdom Theology of Earl Paulk and his associates
will have been effectively refuted.
It should be admitted that some of the elements of this mythology have
been taught by some orthodox theologians. For example, the "gap" theory,
according to which the condition of the earth in Genesis 1:2 was the result of
a judgment upon Satan's rebellion, has been held by many highly esteemed
Christian thinkers in the past century.  However, placing a gap between
Genesis 1:1 and 1;2 is grammatically indefensible and rests on a mistaken
understanding of the expression "formless and void."  Furthermore, the
statement in Genesis 1:31 that God pronounced everything He had make as "very
good" contradicts the gap theory, according to which the earth was a spiritual
battleground at the time of Adam's creation. The theory that man was placed
on earth to take dominion over the devil runs afoul also of Genesis 1:26,28,
which shows that the "dominion" mandate given to Adam was to rule over the
biological life on the earth, not to reclaim dominion from the devil;s hosts.
Indeed, the entire chapter of Genesis 1 is a sustained argument that God
created the earth and all that is in it for mankind's enjoyment and use,
rather than creating mankind as a pawn in His power struggle with the devil.
That is, God make the earth for man, not man for the earth.
The gap theory, as erroneous as it is, is not in and of itself heretical.
However, it can be put to use in a heretical system, and as such can be a part
of an extremely unorthodox mythology. What makes it so in the case of Kingdom
Theology is its combination with the Manifest Sons of God doctrine, according
to which the church is the ongoing incarnation of God and believers are
"little gods" exercising autonomous sovereignty within their spheres of
dominion. As this is perhaps the most objectionable and controversial aspect
of Earl Paulk's teachings, it deserves special attention.
The teaching of Earl Paulk that Christians are to regard themselves as
"little gods" should not be isolated from the overall doctrine he presents in
his writings. His teaching about the nature of the church and of the
individual Christian involves far more than the expression "little gods."
According to Paulk, the church is the "ongoing incarnation" of God, soon to be
the "manifest sons of God," and as much "God in the flesh" as was Jesus
Jesus was God in the flesh. We must be as He was in the world, and even
greater in volume and influence. 
The completion of the incarnation of God in the world must be in His
Church...Jesus Christ is the firstfruit, but without the ongoing harvest,
the incarnation will never be complete. 
The living Word of God, Jesus Christ, was conceived in the womb of a
virgin. The Word became flesh in the God man, Jesus Christ (John 1:1).
Likewise, the Word of God must be make flesh in the Church in order for us
to bear witness to the Kingdom which God has called us to demonstrate.
We are on earth as extensions of God to finish the work He began. We are
the essence of God, His on-going incarnation in the world. 
Evidently Paulk really means to say that the church is as much "God in the
flesh" as was Jesus. Certainly he does say this over and over, and never once
qualifies his statements to suggest that there is anything unique about Christ
as the incarnation except that He was its "firstfruit" and "standard." Thus,
Paulk appears to be saying something far beyond the orthodox belief that
Christ indwells the church through the Holy Spirit and continues His work on
earth through the church. This conclusion is confirmed by Paulk's strong
warnings, based on 1 John 4:1-3, against denying that the church is the
ongoing incarnation of God in the flesh.  From the context of these
warnings it is evident that Paulk recognizes his doctrine as controversial
among Christians, so that it cannot fairly be said that he is simply teaching
the standard view that Christ indwells the church. Of course, what 1 John
4:1-3 was warning about was denying that Jesus was incarnate God, not the
church is too!
That Paulk's view of the church and of mankind is heretical is confirmed
by what he says about "little gods":
Adam and Eve were placed in the world as the seed and expression of God.
Just as dogs have puppies and cats have kittens, so God has little gods.
Seed remains true to its nature, bearing it own kind.
When God said, "Let us make man in our image," He created us as little
gods, but we have trouble comprehending this truth. We see ourselves as
"little people" with very little power and dominion. Until we comprehend
that we are little gods and we begin to act like little gods, we cannot
manifest the Kingdom of God. 
When I say, "Act like a god," I can hear people saying, "There he goes
with the theory of 'the manifest sons of God.'" Forget about theories!
Forget about doctrine! Just go back to the simple Word of God! We are
"little gods," whether we admit it or not. What are "little gods"? A god
is someone who has sovereignty. Everyone is sovereign within certain
parameters... We are sovereign in many areas of life because we are
"little gods.," 
From these two citations it is evident that the problem with Paulk's
teaching here is n9ot merely calling men "little gods," though that is bad
enough, but what he means by it.  According to Paulk, Genesis 1 teaches
that man is God's "seed," "begotten" by God, and thus is the same "kind" as
God, just as elsewhere in Genesis 1 the various plants and animals are said to
reproduce after their kind. This interpretation of Genesis 1 betrays a
careless misreading of the text. Man is not said to be "after God's kind,"
but rather in His "image" and "likeness," and to have been "created," not
"begotten," by God (Gen.1:26-27). God evidently wished to communicate that we
were similar to God in certain important respects, but not identical in terms
of nature or essence.
Paulk also argues that as little gods, we have a certain measure of
"sovereignty" over our own lives. This is consistent with his view, discussed
already, that God forfeited some of His power and control over the universe in
populating it with "autonomous" beings. The result of Paulk's teaching that
we are "little gods" is thus a deflated view of God, as well as an inflated
view of man.
As important and integral as this teaching is in Paulk's writings, in 1987
Paulk began denying that he had ever taught it! In THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW,
Paulk claimed that the charge that he taught a heretical view of man was based
on a single quotation taken out of context:
In one of my books, SATAN UNMASKED, I emphasized that man was created in
God's image... In keeping with the Genesis account of creation in which
each "kind produce their own kind," I wrote, "Just as dogs have puppies
and cats have kittens, God has little gods." ...Out of context, perhaps I
would have questioned the theological validity of the quote. At least, I
would have asked for further development of the analogy. 
This statement is misleading in suggesting that Paulk make the statement
about "little gods" once; as we have seen, he make such statements in two
separate books, and throughout his books are statements about the nature of
man and of the church which support his "little gods" doctrine. Even here he
maintains his view of kinds producing their own kind, which makes man the same
kind of being as God.
Throughout this same book, Paulk "further develops the analogy" by
claiming to distinguish between being "in the image of God" (which is, he
says, the biblical view that he has taught all along) and seeking to be "like
God" or "little gods," which he says he has always rejected as the lie of
Satan.  "Some people have never learned the difference between the error
of being a 'little god' instead of living as one created `in His image.'" 
As bold as this attempt was to hide the fact that he himself had taught
that we are "little gods," his statement in the November 1987 issue of his
newsletter THY KINGDOM COME was bolder still: "I have never stated that
believers are gods."  One wonders how this statement can be regarded as
anything other than a deceitful attempt to cover up heretical teaching.
THE GOSPEL OF DOMINION
We have seen that Paulk has a potentially heretical view of ongoing
revelation through modern apostles and prophets whose pronouncements cannot be
questioned; a deflated view of God's nature, and an inflated view of man's;
and a heretical view of the church as the completion of Christ's incarnation,
as a corporate body of little gods. How do these faulty views of revelation,
God, man, Christ, and the church "cash out" in relation to Paulk's doctrine of
salvation? Does Paulk accept the biblical gospel of salvation by grace alone
through faith alone in Christ alone?
AS with so many doctrinal issues, Paulk appears to affirm the orthodox
position while often at the same time compromising or even denying it. Paulk
claims to accept the gospel of salvation, but also argues that there is
another gospel - the gospel of the Kingdom - which most Christians are not
preaching or believing. Paulk distinguishes between the "gospel of Christ"
(i.e., Christ's gospel) as the message which Christ proclaimed regarding the
Kingdom, and the "gospel about Christ" as the message that Christ is our God
and Saviour.  This distinction corresponds to another distinction, made
in another book, between Salvation Churches, which preach only the gospel
about Christ as Savior, and Kingdom Churches, which preach that the church is
to complete the incarnation and take dominion over the earth back from the
This distinction between two kinds of churches preaching two different
gospels is quite unbiblical. The apostle Paul made it very clear that there
was only one gospel, and anyone proclaiming another gospel was anathema or
cursed by God (Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Cor. 11:4). The "gospel of the kingdom" (Matt.
24:14) which Jesus preached is the good news that through faith in Him we can
be born of the Spirit and enjoy eternal life under God's undisputed rule
(e.g., John 3:1-18). This is also the message preached by the apostles and
disciples, who proclaimed the kingdom (Acts 8:12; 28:31) in preaching faith in
Christ as Lord and Savior (Rom. 1:16-17; 10:9-10: 1 Cor. 15:4; etc.). Thus,
the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of salvation are one and the same
message. this can also be seen in Paul's statement (frequently cited in
Paulk's books) that the fruit of the kingdom of God consists in
"righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17), fruit which
Christians have been enjoying for centuries on the basis of simple faith in
Christ (cf. Rom. 5:1-2; Col. 1:12-14).
Distinguishing between the gospels of the kingdom and of salvation is not
in and of itself heretical. As long as this distinction does not obscure or
deny that eternal life in God's kingdom is a free gift of God through faith in
Christ, the distinction is simply an error in biblical interpretation, and
does not come under the "anathema" of Paul's warning in Galatians 1:6-9.
Since Paulk claims to adhere to the "salvation gospel" as well as the "kingdom
gospel," his distinction would not be heretical if his "salvation gospel" were
orthodox. Unfortunately, there is some reason to doubt that this is so.
As far as this writer has been able to determine, not once in any of his
books does Earl Paulk clearly affirm salvation by grace alone or the
Reformation doctrine of justification by faith.  On the other hand, there
are statements which seem to compromise, if not outrightly contradict, the
evangelical faith. For instance, Paulk admits to teaching "that people will
either tithe or go to hell"  Elsewhere he insists that "works of faith"
are necessary to obtain eternal life,  and that "church membership" is
essential if we are to "maintain our salvation and place in the body." 
Such statements call into serious question Paulk's claim to be evangelical.
WHAT PAULK EXPECTS OF THE CHURCH
With his inflated view of man and the church, it will come as no surprise
that Paulk expects a great deal of the church. Most critiques of Paulk have
made much of Paulk's teaching that the church must accomplish certain things
before Christ can return, but have not based their criticisms in a thorough
enough understanding of Paulk's total perspective.
According to Paulk, Jesus is "held in the heavens until" the church
accomplishes its mission of bringing about "the restoration of all things,"
based on the usual Latter-Rain reading of Acts 3:21.  This is the major
premise upon which Paulk's expectations regarding the church are based.
However, the point being made by Peter i Acts 3:21 is not that the church must
restore all things before Christ can return, but rather that Christ will not
return until it is the Father's time for Christ to bring about the restoration
of all things (see also Acts 1:6-7).
It is true that certain things must take place before Christ's return,
such as the worldwide preaching of the gospel (Matt. 24:14). Indeed, Paulk's
interpretation of Matthew 24:14 is key to his entire theory: he argues that a
"witness" is more than a "testimony," and is in fact a "demonstration."
Therefore, concludes Paulk, what the church must do before the end can come is
to demonstrate to the world the power of the Kingdom.  However, once
again the wording of the text is not being respected: all Jesus says is that
the gospel of the kingdom must be "preached" for a "witness"; nor does Paulk's
arbitrary distinction between "witness" and "testimony" have any relation to
the realities of how these words are used either in biblical language or in
What exactly does Paulk expect the church to do? Paulk insists that the
church is to "make the earth God's footstool," referring to such texts as 1
Corinthians 15:25 which says that Christ "must reign until He has put all
things under His feet." On the assumption that the church is the incarnation
of God in the world, Paulk reasons that the church must fulfill this prophetic
In order to accomplish this goal, the church must restore the spiritual
authority of the fivefold ministry  and thus become sufficiently united
in faith (not necessarily involving doctrinal agreement) to accomplish its
mission of taking dominion and to eliminate the scandal of division in the
church.  It must then mature sufficiently to become a standard by which
God can judge the world.  In doing so, it will complete the incarnation
of God  and be manifest as the sons of God (Rom. 8:19).  (It might
be appropriate at this point to mention that Romans 8:19, on which the
expression "manifest sons of God" is based, teaches that this manifestation is
something for which the church waits in hope, and which will occur only at the
Second Coming when God redeems our bodies [see Rom. 8:20-25; cf. Phil. 3:20-
21].) This will, according to Paulk, place the church in a position in which
it can take dominion over the earth to the extent "that rulership will have
already been established" by the church before Christ comes back.  It is
in anticipation of this imminent "dominion" that adherents of Kingdom Theology
are pursuing political power.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of what the church is expected to do
in Paulk's view is to "overcome death." On this subject, as so many others,
Paulk's thoughts seem to be inconsistent. At times he speaks very plainly
about the church doing what Jesus did by overcoming death!
Everything that Jesus Christ performed, His Church must perform, including
challenging and overcoming death! 
Death, the last enemy, must be conquered by the Bride of Christ. Indeed,
we experience death with Christ by faith, but the generation that precedes
the coming of Jesus Christ must follow the example of Enoch who was
Elsewhere, though, Paulk seems to shy away from this position: Death does
not necessarily mean "natural" death, for most Christians will experience
a physical death, [sic] I believe that God desires us to lean how to die
to our wills and our flesh and to reckon ourselves dead. 
What Paulk may be trying to say here is that not all Christians need to
overcome physical death to "demonstrate the Kingdom"; some may do so by dying
to self (note the inconsistency, though, in saying that "overcome death"
means dying to self).
In a couple of places Paulk seems to imply that the church will be made
immortal only upon Christ's return.  This of itself is not inconsistent
with holding that the last generation will achieve some form of immortality
through the exercise of taking dominion over death, since the resurrected
Christians from previous generations will evidently have to be made immortal
by a direct act of Christ. In any case, in several places he does flatly
state that the church is to pursue immortality before Christ returns. He also
counsels Christians not to accept death unless they get a specific revelation
from God otherwise.  This is simply the logical conclusion of Paulk's
acceptance of Positive Confession (see Part One).
JUDGING KINGDOM THEOLOGY
It is an unpleasant task to judge the teaching of someone within the
Christian fellowship as heretical, but the church does have that
responsibility, as I demonstrated in Part One. Having assessed the specific
teachings of Bishop Earl Paulk, something needs to be said in the way of an
There is no need to belabor the point that Kingdom theology is unbiblical
and should not be embraced by any Christian aware of its theological problems.
Regardless of whether or not it is possible to be a Christian and believe
these things, one ought not to try. It may be possible to jump from the top
of a tall building and survive, but it is still foolish to try.
The more troublesome question is whether the people who do subscribe to
this belief system are Christians. On the one hand, Earl Paulk does subscribe
to the historic creeds of the church - or so he says, at least - and does
confess to the Trinity and the deity of Christ, seemingly placing him outside
of the category of a cultist. On the other hand, his teachings at best are
contradictory and confused on the essential of the faith, and at worst (and
there is much to be said for regarding the situation as at its worst) he has
rejected the orthodox view of God, man, and salvation.
Perhaps if Paulk were open to dialogue on the issues raised here (and
there are several other critical issues not even touched upon due to space
limitations) we might be able to clarify some uncertain points and give a more
definitive overall evaluation of his thought. He has chosen not to go this
route. Still, some things can be said. He has lied about the truth regarding
what he has taught in the past. He has claimed to be a prophet and then
taught his followers that a prophet is not to be judged; convenient, if not
convincing. He has taught false doctrine on matters essential to faith (of
that there should be no doubt) under the guise of inspired prophecy, making
him a false prophet.
It is therefore our judgment that Earl Paulk is in fact a false prophet
whose teachings and ministry should be utterly rejected by the church. Other
ministers who align themselves with him and who promote Kingdom Theology
(e.g., Bill Hamon, Larry Lea, Thomas Reid) should likewise be regarded as
heretics. Those Christians (and there are evidently many such) who are
members of churches teaching Kingdom Theology need to be warned of its true
nature and encouraged to leave, despite Paulk's warnings that they may suffer
hell if they do leave.  Those persons who choose to remain in fellowship
with these heretics will, even if saved, have to be regarded by orthodox
Christians as having broken fellowship with God's people. The orthodox gospel
of reconciliation with God and His rule through Christ simply cannot be
sacrificed or even compromised for Earl Paulk's pseudo-gospel of the Kingdom.
1] Don Paulk, "Cutting Edge," Thy Kingdom Come, March 1988, 2.
2] In doing so, every effort has been made to interpret Paulk's statements
fairly and in context. Because of the brevity of this article, only a few
aspects of Paulk's teachings can be examined here, and long Quotations
must be kept to a minimum. Those wishing to read Paulk's statements in
context may obtain copies of his books from K Dimension Publishers in
3] Earl Paulk, Satan Unmasked (Atlanta, GA: K Dimension Publishers, 1985),
Unless noted otherwise, all book references in this article are by Earl Paulk
and published by K Dimension Publishers.
4] Thrust in the Sickle and REap (1986), 74 (hereafter Thrust).
5] Twenty Questions on Kingdom Teaching (prepublication copy, 1988),
6] Ibid., Q. 10.
7] "The Faulty Foundation of the Five-Fold Ministry," CHRISTIAN RESEARCH
JOURNAL 10 (Fall 1987):31.
8] Satan Unmasked, 123.
9] Held in the Heavens Until (1985), 184-85 (hereafter Held); cf. Ultimate
Kingdom (1986), 130; That the World May Know (1987), 53 (hereafter World).
10] The Wounded Body of Christ (2nd ed., 1985), 44-48 (hereafter Wounded); cf.
World, 25-26, 125, 141-42; Satan Unmasked, 125; Ultimate Kingdom, 16-17.
11] World, 10:cf. 143-44.
12] Wounded, 78; World, 70; Satan Unmasked, 137; Ultimate Kingdom, 68; Held,
189; Thrust, 55-56; To Whom is God Betrothed (1985), 31.
13] World, 24-25; Held, 110; Ultimate Kingdom, 144.
14] See Alan W. Gomes, "God in Man's Image: Foreknowledge, Freedom, and the
'Openness' of God," CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL 10 (Summer 1987):18-24.
15] Held, 41, 48, 52.
16] Ultimate Kingdom, 30.
17] Ibid., 144.
18] See this author's "The Attributes of God: An Outline Study," available
19] See, for example, Wounded, 75,133-135; Satan Unmasked, 21; Held, 18, 32-
53, 221-23; Thrust, 49-53; World, 69, 89.
20] See n.15.
21] E.g., Donald Grey Barnhouse, The invisible War (Grand Rapids: Zondervan,
22] For a fairly thorough critique of the gap theory, see Bernard Ramm, The
Christian View of Science and Scripture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956),
23] Wounded, 69.
24] Held, 60-61.
25] Ibid., 156.
26] Thrust, 132.
27] Wounded, 124; Held, 127; Thrust, 9; Utlimate Kingdom, 17-18, 52; World,
28] Satan Unmasked, 96-97; cf. 287-88.
29] Held, 171.
30] See my discussion of the various meanings attached to calling men "gods"
in "Ye Are Gods? Orthodox and Heretical Views on the Deification of
Man," CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL 9 (Winter/Spring 1987):18-22.
31] World, 73.
32] Ibid., 27, 50-52, 73, 132, 134-40, 145-46.
33] Ibid., 132.
34] "Paulk Answers," Thy Kingdom Come, Nov. 1987, 3.
35] Thrust, 21-29.
36] Satan, 187-95.
37] Cf. World, xi-xii.
38] Thrust, 37.
39] Ibid., 126.
40] Ultimate Kingdom, 84.
41] Held, 93, cf. Wounded, 95; Thrust, 102-103.
42] Satan Unmasked, 24-25; Held, 20.
43] Wounded, 95; Satan, 26-27, 138, 246-47; Held, ix, 61, 234; Ultimate
Kingdom, 144, 228-29.
44] Held, 198.
45] Ibid., 71; Wounded, 109-110, 122-23; To Whom Is God Betrothed, 23-27.
46] Thrust, 12, 67, 79; Ultimate Kingdom, 68; World, 55.
47] Wounded, 69; Held, 60-61, 156.
48] Satan, 114; see also Held, 42, 219; Thrust, 45; World, 6, 133; etc.
49] Wounded, 140.
50] Held, 66 (see also p.65).
51] Ibid., 97; cf. 107, 180-81, 252-55, 265-76; wounded, 123-24; Held, 116.
52] Satan Unmasked, 272.
53] Thrust, x; Ultimate Kingdom, 121, 123; World, 178.
54] Held, 166-67, 176.
55] Satan Unmasked, 194-95.
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